On Valentina’s elimination from Drag Race Season 9
I seldom weigh in on Drag Race stuff, because I’m too old to appreciate reality TV and don’t really follow it. I’m not of the generation which understands or appreciates reality TV. But through my work and video snippets online, I kinda keep abreast. I was working in Orlando last Friday when fan favorite Valentina was voted off. The cast I worked with was buzzing after the episode about how she wanted to wear a mask during the lip-synch for your life segment. Ru made her remove it and she sort of refused to lip-synch. That makes a couple queens this season who didn’t know the words to their songs or just did rather poor lip-synchs.
But after Valentina’s elimination, people flipped out and started posting pics of themselves crying. People, you liked Valentina a lot and wanted her to win. I get it. But she knew she would have to learn her song and refused to. All queens are given all the songs in advance–so there’s no excuse. What the hell is she doing on a show on which you have to lip-synch for your life? If you refuse to sing on American Idol, ya don’t win. Are her fans really watching the show rooting for contestants who refuse to even do the challenges except in a half-hearted way?
But what really got my goat was this tweet from a drag queen fan of the show who is Latina: “All of the #Latinx queens have now been sent home off @RuPaul’s #dragrace season 9: Donald Trump’s new America.”
First of all, she’d be griping if there were no “latinx” queens even cast. There were three this season. And for those who aren’t familiar with latinx, it’s a gender neutral replacement for Latina and latino–which both convey gender.
Second, in no way was Valentina chopped because she was Latina. She didn’t deliver in a challenge which might have redeemed her. Most working queens I know would bust out and give a lip-synch their all in a heartbeat. Are the producers having that hard a time finding queens who will/can lip-synch? I know zillions of professional drag queens who would jump at the chance to show what they’ve got on the telly. And I would venture that most of them think what Valentina did was bizarre and self-sabotaging.
Third, the politically correct person making this extreme reach is actually a professor of latinx queer studies at a university–is she filling kids’ heads with nonsense like this? I hope that her powers of analysis are better than the two tweets she sent expressing the same thing linking of Valentina’s exit and Trump.
Fourth, the professor of latinx studies couldn’t even tell that Jaymes Mansfield was Mexican. Protect queer latinx? She can’t even recognize them.
Fifth, even if Valentina was eliminated because RuPaul or the producers of the show have some grudge against latinos, to imply that Drag Race is mimicking Trump’s America is the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. A total reach by someone looking for enemies where the fault lays squarely with the contestant. Season 9 was finished shooting by the time Trump was even elected. And does anyone really think RuPaul and co. are consulting with Trump on casting and judging? Absurd. As insane as Trump is, I imagine he has more pressing issues than consulting on Drag Race. Then again, maybe Trump is also infiltrating our good ol’ American drag shows with Russian spies. That’s it! Katya just acts silly to disguise her true position in the KGB. People, get real!